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'70s third team tops '90s, '00s first teams

While the debate rages on the blog over the snubbing of Ray Hall -- and we stand by our 1980s picks -- let's throw another log on the all-time All-WNY basketball fire.

It says here, the third team on the 1970s squad would beat the first team of the 1990s or the 2000s.

The 70s third team: G Tyrone Beaman, G Phil Scafidi, F Ollie Harper, F LaVerne Evans, C Jim Johnstone.

The 90s first team: G Tim Winn, G Jason Rowe, F Mike Heary, F Leonard Stokes, F Eric Eberz.

The 00s first team: G Johnny Flynn, G Rodney Pierce, G/F Julius Page, F Paul Harris, C Charlie Comerford.

First, the 90s matchup. Winn was a great defensive player, who would have given any guard trouble in any era. But Scaffidi managed to bring the ball up against Dwight Williams, who was better than Winn overall. He would have given up some turnovers, but Winn could not have covered both Scafidi and Beaman. The 70s team would have gotten the ball up court, and then it would have been over, because nobody on the 90s team would have stopped the 6-11 Johnstone, who played at Wake Forest and spent a season in the NBA. Harper was as physical as Stokes and more physical than Heary and Eberz. Evans could have covered Heary or Eberz outside. Game over.

Onto the 2000s game, which presents matchup problems for both sides. Flynn is better than Scaffidi or Beaman, but not so much better to dominate the game. The 00s would have had to put Harris on Evans, but then the 6-3 Page would have been forced to guard the more physical Harper, and the 6-7 Comerford would have to cover the 6-11 Johnstone. Big edge inside to the 70s third-teamers. On the other end of the court, the 2000s wouldn't score much inside. Harris would be tough for Evans to cover but Harris would have to do all of his damage in transition and on the perimeter. Higher-percentage baskets would win it for the 70s.

---Mark Gaughan

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